Speaking: How Fast Talkers can Slow their Speech for Greater Positive Impact-Part 1 (Breathing)

Fast talkers can slow their rate of speech to make greater positive impacts on their audiences.  One of our followers at Master Your Accent recently asked “What recommendations do you have to slow down the tempo of speech. I have been told multiple times that I speak too quickly when giving speeches.”  It’s a question that comes up frequently, and this follower’s request spurred me to write an article on this topic.

Tips for Slowing your Rate of Speech

Here are some quick tips for slowing your rate of speech to make a greater impact.

Focus on Breathing

Focusing on your breathing will help you slow your rate of speech to make a greater impact.  Simply making it a goal to pause for a breath can prove to slow your speech down.  It’s simple, yet helpful.  Ultimately, focusing on breathing results in more relaxation.  When you’re more relaxed, your audience or communication partners will be able to relate to you more personally.  You then open the door to form connections and therefore build a foundation for your relationship with your communication partner.

Abdomino-thoracic Breathing Benefits

Abdominal-thoracic breathing simply means belly-chest breathing.  Speech breathing is comprised of using your abdomen as well as your chest.  By using both, you maximize the space in your torso for your lungs to expand.  When your lungs are sufficiently filled with air, you’re able to efficiently speak without forcing your speech.  This type of breathing will facilitate a relaxed feeling yet provide sufficient breath support for speaking.

Abdomino-thoracic Breathing Steps

Many speakers, especially when nervous, inhale from their chests.  Focus on how your abdomen goes inward as you’re expelling your air while you’re speaking.  Take a breath in and feel your abdomen expand outward.  To make this easier, try breathing in and out with your belly/abdomen without speaking; simply letting your body inhale and exhale.  If you have difficulty doing this, lye on the floor.  Gravity will hold your shoulders down and prevent you from breathing too much in your chest and not enough with your abdomen expanding and contracting.

Habitual Breathing Patterns

You may even explore your habitual or present breath pattern.  If you feel the need to breathe quickly, do so, in order to increase your awareness of your body sensations during your breathing.  Let your body tense up and relax.  Notice where you hold tension-in your shoulders, abdomen, chest, arms, fists, mouth, face, jaw.  Experiment with fast rates of breathing and slower rates of breathing.  Tense your body parts and relax them.  Move them freely to increase the neural input to your brain during this process of getting in touch with your breathing patterns.


Conscientious abdomino-thoracic breathing is an effective way to increase relaxation, slow your rate of speech, and ultimately connect to your communication partners with more impact.  Increasing your awareness of how your body breathes, where you feel tension and sensation, and how often you inhale and exhale can prove to increase your relaxation.  As a result, you can decrease your rate of speech.

To your increased awareness of your breathing pattern as a tool for relaxation,





Tina GamesJuly 2nd, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Breathing is such a powerful (and necessary) tool – that can be used in so many creative ways. ~ Because of the work that I do, I’m always inviting my audience into a deep breath with me – as a way to clear the energy for big transformations. 🙂

Dorothy FitzerJuly 2nd, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Great points Cher! I almost always bring it back to the breath;) It’s served me well for many years.

veronicaJuly 2nd, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Wonderful insight and tips Cher! I used to be a fast talker and when I studied voice I learned all about the importance of breath among other things. This is great for those who may not recognize there is a solution!

TeenaJuly 3rd, 2014 at 7:05 am

Cher – Very helpful pointers for fast talkers! I know when I am nervous my speaking speeds up – our breath is such a helpful barometer for helping us regulate ourselves and manage our verbal and nonverbal expression. Thank you for sharing you brilliance!


Cher GundersonJuly 3rd, 2014 at 7:49 am

Tina, you’re very welcome. Your word choice of “barometer” is so fitting here. In these cases and many others, yes, breath is our barometer 🙂

To your empowered breath,


Cher GundersonJuly 3rd, 2014 at 7:55 am


It’s great to hear these tips are useful being that you have experience transforming your breath and voice 🙂 Yes-there is a solution for fast talkers.

To the empowered voice,


Cher GundersonJuly 3rd, 2014 at 7:59 am


Because I’ve seen your somatic therapy videos, this would make sense that incorporating breath into many different areas is also applicable.

To the empowered breath,


Cher GundersonJuly 3rd, 2014 at 8:04 am

Yes Tina-the breath is a grounding point, and is often underutilized for the feedback it gives us about our inner worlds 🙂

To the transformational breath,


Cher GundersonJuly 4th, 2014 at 10:09 am

Teena, sorry I spelled your name wrong in the first response 🙂

MahsaJuly 4th, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Dear Cher. Thank you so much for sharing such an important article. Every time
I have a stressful situation I always do this exactly; This exercise is really useful
for relaxing. your tips always are wonderful and practical. Have a great day Cher.
Warmest regards

Cher GundersonJuly 4th, 2014 at 2:54 pm


You’re very welcome 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the article and found it practical for your own situation. You also have a great day.

To your empowered breath,

YerusalemJuly 9th, 2014 at 3:10 am

Thanks for the great advice Cher! I never knew that I was a fast talker (especially when I am nervour and speaking on topics that I am knowledgeable and passionate about) until I received comments repeatedly. Thus, I am glad to learn about the breathing techniques and apply it to connect to my audience with more impact.

Best regards,

Cher GundersonJuly 9th, 2014 at 5:49 am

Hi Yerusalem.

That is wonderful you’re open to learning from the feedback you received regarding your rate of speech. I’m glad the article on breathing helped to connect you with your audience. Awareness of the breath during any time, whether speaking or not, can also improve awareness of our state of mind and help us allow rather than attempt to control the outcomes in our lives. It can help us be flexible for adapting and being open to new ways of thinking.

I look forward to your response to our upcoming article-part 2 of this article series that will cover using punctuation to slow the speaking rate.

To your empowered breath,


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